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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Monday, January 29, 2007

tinkering with blog, plodding with story

I finally switched over to the "new" version of Blogger, as urged over the past couple of months by Google. since I already had a Gmail account it wasn't too painful. We'll see how it works out.

Returnees will note that I've added a couple of features in the sidebar:

  • last book I finished reading

  • last book I started reading

  • other books I'm currently reading
Why, it's almost as good as being able to look right at my coffee-table stack (except I'm only including those books I'm actually, actively reading in the blog-list, whereas the coffee-table sags under the weight of books formerly being read and not yet reshelved).

Another feature are the "labels" I can attach to each post. I started off yesterday by labeling a number of recent posts--assigning categories to their content. Since as of yesterday there were a total of 361 posts, it will take me awhile to get through them all this way, and I'm not altogether sure of the value. On the other hand, the dry administrator in me (who owns a good-sized portion of my psychic real estate) is naturally attracted to this feature, so I do intend to complete it. Both die-hard fans and new visitors will be able to list posts according to their content labels. That should keep you up nights.

Meanwhile, I'm back at it, working now on chapter 26. I realize now that my method, if it deserves such a name, is what it is, and is not likely to change for the remainder of my draft. I keep researching, forging connections, and thinking through the backstory of each chapter. All of these contribute to the quality I have called "richness"--the "nonfiction" feeling that one is relating (and therefore reading about) real events. I believe that the more imaginary the world, the more removed it is from today's reality, or the reality of the reader, the more concrete and real-feeling it needs to be. In this respect historical fiction has a burden much like that of fantasy or science fiction. If you want to take the reader far away from where he or she is, you need to plant him or her definitely in another place.

Such anyway are my thoughts on it. Now to think of some labels to stick on this post...

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